If you're looking to amplify the effects of an Ayurvedic cleanse, herbal therapies are a powerful choice because they assist in the breakdown and removal of ama (toxic waste). 

Generally speaking, since agni (digestive fire) is the opposite of ama, the best Ayurvedic herbs for detoxification are ones that stimulate agni. The astringent, bitter, and pungent tastes can be a powerful combination, as the astringent taste dries the ama, while the bitter and pungent tastes help destroy and digest it. This is why bitter, astringent, and pungent herbs are known to clean the blood, lymph, and bile.

In addition, for comprehensive and effective cleansing, Ayurveda recommends herbs that aid movement in all of the detox pathways:

  • Diaphoretic herbs (that make you sweat)
  • Carminative herbs (that expel air)
  • Expectorant herbs (that get rid of phlegm)
  • Diuretic herbs (that eliminate through urine)
  • Laxative herbs (that increase bowel movement)
  • Emmenagogues (that relieve congestion of blood)

Best Ayurvedic Herbs for Detoxification

Here are Ayurveda's favorite herbs for cleansing and detoxifying the body:


Triphala is a blend of three fruits: Amalaki (a powerful antioxidant super high in Vitamin C and one of the main ingredients of Chyawanprash), Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. It supports the whole GI tract: Bibhitaki and Haritaki have a laxative effect and support gut health, while Amalaki is a powerful rejuvenative that supports longevity.

The rasa (taste) of Triphala is sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent; the only taste not contained within the formula is salty. Its taste is not particularly pleasant, but it is really effective! 

Triphala comes in several forms, including powder, capsules, and liquid extract. It should be taken with warm water on an empty stomach either before bed or first thing in the morning. Even if it is particularly recommended for Kapha, it brings all doshas back to balance thanks to its powerful detoxification powers.


Manjistha is an effective herb that promotes healthy liver function – and is probably the best blood- and lymph-purifying herb. It strengthens agni, reduces the load on the liver, cools and detoxifies the blood, dissolves obstructions in the blood flow, and removes stagnant blood. Manjistha also cleanses and regulates the liver, spleen, and kidney functions and is very effective for toxic blood conditions.

Manjistha is available as a powder (250mg to 1g), paste, and medicated ghee. It’s great to balance Pitta and Kapha but can be too drying to Vata if used in excess. 


As the most important resin in Ayurvedic medicine, guggulu is bitter, pungent, and astringent. Similar to myrrh, it possesses strong purifying and rejuvenating powers and helps with the regeneration of nerve tissue. Guggulu is fantastic when taken in the mouth and chewed in case of mouth ulcers because it heals the skin and mucous membranes. It is also recommended for arthritic conditions.

You can take guggulu as a capsule, powder (250mg to 500mg), paste, or gum. It balances Kapha and Vata but may increase Pitta if taken in excess. Speak to an Ayuvredic practitioner about dosage and timings. 


Neem bark and leaves are bitter, cooling, and pungent. Neem cleanses the blood, cools fevers, and clears the toxins involved in most inflammatory skin diseases or ulcerated mucous membranes. 

It can be taken internally whenever purification is needed since it clears away excessive tissue, is very astringent, and promotes healing. When taken externally as a medicated oil, neem is a great healing and disinfectant agent for skin diseases and an anti-inflammatory agent for joint and muscle pain.

Neem is available as an infusion, powder (250mg to 500mg), paste, medicated ghee, and medicated oil. It is great for Pitta and Kapha but can be aggravating for Vata if taken in excess.

Bamboo Salt

Although bamboo salt is not a herb, it's another remedy to consider when trying to boost agni for detoxification. High-quality bamboo salt, like our Bamboo Salt 9X, increases agni and stimulates appetite, while the minerals help with the assimilation of nutrients. 

There are many ways to incorporate bamboo salt into your daily routine, including sprinkling a pinch of the crystals onto your tongue. You can also mix up a cup of our therapeutic Radiance Salt Tea for further toxin removal.

Kitchen Herbs

The good news is that you don’t have to go far to find supportive herbs for cleansing. You can find powerful herbs right in your kitchen cabinet. Herbs such as dried ginger, cumin, fennel, black pepper, mustard seed, garlic, and coriander all assist in removing ama.

Before you eat a delicious meal made with these tasty herbs, you can take a dietary supplement (such as Digestion) for even better detoxification, metabolism, and food assimilation.

Seasonal Recommendations

When choosing Ayurvedic herbs to use for your detoxification, be sure to pay attention to your dosha imbalance and the time of year you are detoxing! For Pitta imbalances and ama accumulation in summer, you might want to incorporate cooling herbs like aloe vera, burdock, dandelion, and echinacea. Coriander, turmeric, fennel, and chamomile are also great allies in the detoxification process and are so easy to incorporate into your meals or teas!

No matter what time of year it is, Ghruta ghee is an excellent anupana (vehicle for medicine) to deliver nutrients to your tissues. It can also support ama removal and detoxification when used as part of an Ayurvedic cleanse.

Cécile Antoine Alfonzo, Certified Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant

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